Fla. Annual Questionable-Claims Count Up 43 Percent from 2008

Florida Questionable Auto Insurance Claims CountsThe latest referral report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) shows that the annual amounts of questionable claims reported by Florida personal auto insurers increased by 15 percent between 2008 and 2009, and by 23 percent between 2009 and 2010.

According to the NICB, the annual count for questionable personal auto claims for 2010 is 42.5 percent higher than for 2008.

Member insurance companies refer claims to the NICB for further investigation when they appear to have one or more elements of fraud. A total of 22,679 claims were referred by Florida insurers during the 3-year period. Of those, 84 percent were personal automobile insurance coverage claims.

Florida has long been recognized as a hot spot for no-fault insurance fraud, but the new NICB report comes at an especially significant time. State legislators have recently introduced a slew of no-fault insurance reform proposals aimed at combating the fraud problem.

Among other changes, the proposals would cap attorneys’ fees in order to make the judicial process more conducive to contesting fraud, lengthen the amount of time that insurers could contest questionable claims, require more extensive documentation from medical providers and establish a state-run fraud unit.

Two of the proposals have already received favorable votes from house committees.

Whether the proposals will become law and, more importantly, be effective, is up for debate. There were at least three rounds of reform to the no-fault system in the past decade, but problems still persist.

About John Pirro
John Pirro is a licensed fire and casualty insurance agent specializing in various aspects of the auto insurance industry. He worked in the auto body repair industry before taking a reporting position at Online Auto Insurance News.

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